Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 550387
Title Global environmental changes impact soil hydraulic functions through biophysical feedbacks
Author(s) Robinson, David A.; Hopmans, Jan W.; Filipovic, Vilim; Ploeg, Martine van der; Lebron, Inma; Jones, Scott B.; Reinsch, Sabine; Jarvis, Nick; Tuller, Markus
Source Global Change Biology 25 (2019)6. - ISSN 1354-1013 - p. 1895 - 1904.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14626
Department(s) WIMEK
Soil Physics and Land Management
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Keyword(s) biophysical feedbacks - environmental change - hydraulic - infiltration - soil physics - soil water content - state shift - water repellency
Abstract

Although only representing 0.05% of global freshwater, or 0.001% of all global water, soil water supports all terrestrial biological life. Soil moisture behaviour in most models is constrained by hydraulic parameters that do not change. Here we argue that biological feedbacks from plants, macro-fauna and the microbiome influence soil structure, and thus the soil hydraulic parameters and the soil water content signals we observe. Incorporating biological feedbacks into soil hydrological models is therefore important for understanding environmental change and its impacts on ecosystems. We anticipate that environmental change will accelerate and modify soil hydraulic function. Increasingly, we understand the vital role that soil moisture exerts on the carbon cycle and other environmental threats such as heatwaves, droughts and floods, wildfires, regional precipitation patterns, disease regulation and infrastructure stability, in addition to agricultural production. Biological feedbacks may result in changes to soil hydraulic function that could be irreversible, resulting in alternative stable states (ASS) of soil moisture. To explore this, we need models that consider all the major feedbacks between soil properties and soil-plant-faunal-microbial-atmospheric processes, which is something we currently do not have. Therefore, a new direction is required to incorporate a dynamic description of soil structure and hydraulic property evolution into soil-plant-atmosphere, or land surface, models that consider feedbacks from land use and climate drivers of change, so as to better model ecosystem dynamics.

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